Dhaka Courier

Matching imagination with the streams of water


Mamun’s solo show at Galleri Kaya

Shahanoor Mamun, considered as one of the most talented watercolourist in the country, has a great zeal for depicting the splendour of nature, six seasons of the country, monsoon and its intrinsic beauty, placid environment, riverine life, flora and fauna, dense foliage, cloudy skies, hilly areas along the banks of Sangu River, green ambiance of Sutai river which extends from Brahmaputra River, sights of Sundarbans mangrove forest and more. He draws rural, urban, semi-urban and old parts of the city where the protagonists are very much connected with the localities. He believes in a great philosophy, that we are all part of nature, but some of us intimately studies nature with intense passion.

The exhibition’s artworks were completed from October 2017 to October 2019. During the last two years, Mamun frequently went outdoors towards different locations in the country. He visited the spots first and then went off to draw their surroundings. He does not believe in replicating photographs. Rather he tries to feel the ambiances in their true essence from the core of his heart, a desire which has further motivated him to immerse himself with the ambiance of nature. At the show, the watercolourist has proved his dexterity in portraying the details of light and shadow while reflecting the “nature at work” through torrential rain, untainted landscape, rivers with boats and quiet surrounding.

Undoubtedly, Mamun is a nature watercolourist. Besides watercolour, the artist also uses ink, charcoal, dry pastel, Chinese ink and pen. At the show, some new subjects have introduced a novel dimension where spectators would see the relationship of mother-son, a lying dog, a cat with a teen girl, the splendour of the monsoon. There are two of his works where Puja’s festivities have also been vibrantly projected. He has dexterously demonstrated the eye-catching beauty of Krishnachura flower and Chandra Prabha. Previously he had done many works on the flowers, but the flowers of the current show has been done with the technique of using loose brush and not going to the details, particularly when it comes to the leaves and petals. He has done a little bit of experiment since technique has got more focus than the subject. Most applications of his watercolour techniques involve – the blooming watercolour method, plein air and flat wash. He has also frequently used the glazing technique. This is a watercolour technique similar to a wash and the artist has used a thin, luminous colour over dry existing washes. It can be clearly perceived that Mamun has confidently applied a single loose or several loose strokes and then left them for drying.

At the show, Mamun has also portrayed Old Dhaka’s socio-economical and cultural structures, urban hustle and bustle, architectural and structural improvements. Scrupulous depictions of Showari Ghat, Tati Bazar, Shakhari Bazaar and their streets overwhelmed with rush hours, rain drenched outlines and among others the riverine view of the Buriganga are evident in his works. He portrays landscapes in a vital synchronisation in themselves.

Unquestionably, Mamun is a workaholic painter. Over the course of time, he has been tirelessly experimenting with subjects, spaces, tones and hues. The painter always feels being driven to explore something novel and refreshing. It breaks monotony for him and he believes art can be enriched through repeated changing of subjects. To him each subject has a special feature, which demonstrates individual light, tone and space. He really gets inspiration and muses on the feelings imbued with the world of nature. The poetry in nature produces a surge of feelings in him, enabling him to hear and interpret the sounds, colours and rhythms around him.

  • DhakaCourier
  • Takir Hossain
  • Issue 21
  • Vol 36
  • Matching imagination with the streams of water

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